The 20th century heralded new understanding in chemistry, which led to a vast array of polymers, dyestuffs, chemicals and finishes. New Fibres were born, new color expectations created. Technologies leapt ahead in all areas of manufacturing and processing. The global consumption of cotton increased, but the market share of cotton decreased. The change reflects cottons strengths and also the weaknesses. By the start of 21stcentury, cotton was just one of many fibres available. Everyone has heard about Polyester, Polyproplene , Nylon , Acrylic ,Lycra , Tencel, Kevlar and microfibers. But have you heard of Cool max, Xstatic, PCM s, Thermocules, Lycrapower , Tyvek , Supplex or Nanosheres ?  these are products that are currently on the market ,or on the way.

Coolmax was one of the first performance fabrics launched by DuPont in 1986. It is a hollow polyester fibre with specialized finish that promotes moisture management away from the body. According to the manufacturers .Coolmax makes sweat a non-issue. The new version Coolmax Alta, offers fabrics with a cottony soft handle, superior moisture management , a semi-matte luster and low –pill properties .

Coolmax is a registered trademark of the manufacturer , INVISTA Ltd ( a business unit of  Du Pont .

 Properties of Coolmax fibre –
Coolmax  is the  original  performance fabric that has been helping push harder and longer  but is now being discovered  for the  cool  comfort  it brings  to everyday apparel. Coolmax  has proven  physiological  benefits  that  , depending  on  people need , can be applied  to or found  in a whole  new range of clothing  styles – from moderate  and  high – intensity  performance  apparel  to everyday  casual  wear .

 So  consumers get the level  of performance  they need  to stay cool and comfortable in any  situation .

 Consumers  looking  for  casual , comfortable garments will be  happy with the way coolmax  keeps  them cool and confident . the  soft , lightweight  and breathable  fabric  gives  clothes  a natural feel , with an added  touch  of performance  that keeps them comfortable. Consumers  who demand  enhanced  performance  from  their apparel  for their  active  lifestyles  will find  that coolmax keeps  them cooler  than  other  fabrics .Coolmax moves perspiration  away  from the  body   to  the  fabrics  outer  surface , where it can  evaporate  quickly .This  thermo regularity  effect  helps  consumers  stay drier  and more  comfortable .

 Extreme  atheletes know  what to  look for in a performance  fabric  and except nothing less than the  best  , which  is  why  they  value  the  physiological  benefits  coolmax  provides. Coolmax  has  proven  to  reduce  skin  temperature , lower  heart  rates during  exercise and maintain  hydration , while  offering  excellent  moisture management  properties .

Coolmax is the brand name of a series of fabrics designed to wick moisture away from the skin. The fabrics employ specially – engineered polyester fibres to improve “ breathability “ compared  to natural fibres  like  cotton .

Coolmax  R is made of  patented Invista  fibre that contains  four  perspiration  tunnels . It can repel the moisture    from  skin  to  fabric  surface efficiently  as  perspiration  starts  which  has  very  excellent  air  permeability .  clothes are  easy  to  wash  and  dry , not shrink, change  shapes , keep  bad  odors or  incur fungus .  mostly  used  for  T-shirts ,  vests , sportswear , socks , tight golf  shirts , underwear  and body wear etc. Coolmax R blend  with  cotton , it has  moisture  – absorbing , drain sweat  and  two tones effect  in  one  side  functions , suitable for  socks.

          Clothing  made from  Coolmax is primarily intended  to be worn  during  exertion –  sweat can evaporate  quickly   so the  wearer  is  kept  dry.Other useful properties  include  fast  drying and resistance  to fading , shrinking and wrinkling . Additionally, coolmax is used as a mattress cover.

          In 2000-01 ,  Nahar Exports Ltd ,Ludhiana was  the only authorized coolmax spinner  in  India  from  Dupont of U .S A.  Later on  Oswal Woollen  Mills Ltd ,Ludhiana  has started  manufacturing Coolmax  Yarn.

Types of Coolmax Fibre –

                Coolmax  fabric  is the industry leader when it comes  to moisture  management , and many customers rely  on  coolmax fabric  for their  activewear needs. Based on consumers requirement for different levels of comfort  for specific  activities  ,the coolmax fabric is divided into three types.

  1. coolmax  everyday  fabric .- for  consumers looking  for  casual , comfortable garments where  the  breathability  of  coolmax  keeps  them cool and confident .
  2. coolmax active  fabric. – for consumers  who  demand  enhanced  performance  from  their  apparel for the  active life style. The thermo –regularity effect of  coolmax  helps  consumers  stay drier and  more comfortable .
  3. coolmax  extreme  fabric .-  for extreme athletes   who  require  the excellent moisture  management  properties  of  coolmax  that  are  proven  to  reduce  skin  temperature ,  lower  heart  rates  during  exercise  and  maintain  hydration.

Spinning of Coolmax yarn 
It can be spun into  100 %  or  blends .  In 100 % coolmax yarn normally the count used in market is Ne 20/1 , Ne 30 /1  and  Ne 40/1 .

It is used in sportswear ,underwear ,dress shirts . Such type of yarn is made in spinning mills in  Korea. It is blended with cotton in  60/40 or  50/50  ratio .

Fine Cotton Factory was founded  in 1997  by  Mr Harish Patel and Mr Biren Patel in Canada. They are the first company in Canada to mix micro fibre  with cotton.  The  first product  “ stay kool “  was  blended with  coolmax  fibre from  Dupont and was  directed  toward  uniforms  for  fast   food  and  retail chains  throughout Canada

Jiangsu huaqiang textile co ltd, china is  manufacturing  coolmax perspiration  fiber  yarn  .

There are different types of Coolmax fibres to be used in spinning.

T-D986W polyester is designed to improve fabric pilling in 100 % Coolmax Alta performance fabrics. It has a critical polymer recipe to achieve consumer value of pill performance at acceptable mill processing conditions   for soft tactility and moisture transport. The other regular T-729 W type is used for regular coolmax performance fabrics. Another type T-702 W  fibre is also used for Coolmax  fabrics.  Adjustment in spinning is required to achieve acceptable processing and quality in yarn and fabric.

Dyeing  and  finishing  of  Coolmax fabric –
Coolmax   fabrics  known as  Dupont performance  fibres   are designed to be processed  much like regular  polyester  . Same dyes and chemicals are used. Modification of procedures and chemicals   is  required  to  optimize  results.

The most popular fabric which is processed is Coolmax/lycra blended warp knit tricot fabrics. It is first heat set prior to scouring and dyeing to stabilize the fabric. Temperature   is 180 –190 deg c. for 30 sec. Overfeed 10-15 %.

Circular knit Coolmax /Lycra fabric are first dyed in tubular form in soft flow dyeing machine, may be slit , dried , and heat set at 180-190 deg c  to achieve final stretch and recovery properties . For whites and pastel shades, it is preferable to slit and heat set prior to dyeing and then frame dry.

Finishing of coolmax fabrics is same as other polyester fabrics.

Coolmax fabrics are slowly gaining importance in textile industries.  Raymonds   and RSWM has started making coolmax fabrics.